The last two weeks

Over the last 10 days I was in NYC and NJ visiting friends, family, and work.  It was such a great trip being able to not only see my friends before Christmas, but getting to my Mom’s concert, and enjoying the city at Christmas time (complete with snow!).  I miss New York so much, but there is nothing like coming back home to Jay and Rondo.

To everyone I got to see last week, I love you all so much and miss you constantly.  How lucky am I to have you all in my life?!

xo-j

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

We had such a fun weekend in NYC with all our family, which I am sure to be sharing pictures etc. from soon, but first I wanted to share a recipe from last week!  I wanted to try something new since I’m pretty bored of our same 10 meals, and this was a weird twist on ziti both Jay and I ended up loving.  Below is the recipe, make please, and enjoy!

WHAT YOU NEED

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1 lb chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)
1 lb ziti
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup buffalo sauce (I used franks buffalo)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup parm cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1.  Boil your chicken in water, drain, let cool, and shred.  I did this way earlier in the day and then stored it in the fridge until I was ready to cook dinner

2. Boil your pasta according to box and let drain.

3. While the pasta is boiling mix the chicken, mozz, buffalo, ricotta, and dressing in a big bowl.  When the pasta is done and drained add this to the mix.

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4.  Once everything is all mixed up, spread in a glass baking pan and top with the breadcrumbs and parm (I pre-mixed the crumbs and cheese).

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5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

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6. Once it is done baking broil for 1-2 minutes depending on your oven.  Mine is really hot and the top was browned in about 1 minute.

7. Your all done…mmmm

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xo-j

Sausage & Brussels

We eat chicken sausage probably once a week.  They are so delicious, and not SO horrible for you!  How I have never combined my bizarre love of Brussel sprouts and sausages before I don’t know.  The hardest part of this recipe is chopping the sprouts, seriously. Anyways, wanted to share another simple one that ends up really really tasty!

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Chicken Sausage & Brussels

What You Need:

Chicken Sausage (I get Aidells garlic & gruyere)
Ziti
Brussel Sprouts (I use the frozen ones)Olive Oil
S&P

Directions:

Make your sprouts! Preheat oven to 425*.

1. Defrost the sprouts in mic with 2 tbsp of water and then cut them in half/quarter

2. Toss the chopped sprouts in olive oil and about 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt (change this to taste)

3. Spread them out on an aluminum foil lined pan and bake for about 30 minutes, but this depends on your oven and how brown you want them.  Keep on checking and shaking and tasting and salting throughout the cooking process.

4. In the meantime boil your water, cook your pasta, and cook your sausages.  I slice the sausages up while cooking into bite size pieces.

5.  When it is all cooked, toss it all together with a little bit of olive oil and done!

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Hope you guys make this one and enjoy it, it has become a staple over here!

xo- J

Chowdahhh

Since it’s started to get cold here I keep having cravings for soup.  Anyone who has ever met Jay knows he is obsessed with soup (it’s weird) so it works out when I get the urge to try out a new one! This weekend, while Reggie was visiting (!!), I decided to try out a clam chowder crock pot recipe, and oh man, so good.  I did make some changes to the recipe and thought I would share what I did…

CLAM CHOWDER in the CROCK POT

WHAT YOU NEED

4 – 6 1/2 oz cans of minced clams (with the juice)
1 cup chopped onion
5 potatoes chopped up
2 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
3 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup half & half
3 cups milk (I used skim)
5 tbsp corn starch
Parsley for garnish

(The recipe called for 8 potatoes, 3 cups water (no stock), 1/4 tsp pepper, 4 cups half and half, and 3 tbsp corn starch…I read a bunch of the comments and ended up using the mix of recipes and it came out perfect.  I can’t imagine fitting more than the 5 potatoes in the soup!)

DIRECTIONS

1. Chop up your onion

2. Chop up your potatoes (I left the skin on)

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3. Cook your bacon in a pan until it is nearly done.  Then add your onion to the pan and allow to cook until soft (about 5 minutes) with the bacon.  Then remove from heat and crumble/chop up the cooked bacon.

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4. Add the clams, bacon, onion, potatoes, s&p, water, & stock to the crock pot.  DO NOT add the milk or corn starch.  Allow this to cook on high for about 4 hours.

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5. Once the soup has cooked for 4 hours, mix 1 cup half & half with the cornstarch and add it to the soup.  Continue to cook for another hour.

6.  My crock pot by this point was completely filled to the brim, so once I had allowed the corn starch mix to cook for an hour I poured the soup into a big pot and added the remaining 3 cups of milk then.  I allowed it to heat up on the stove for about 15 minutes.

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7. Cut up some bread and enjoy!  I ended up loading a ton more black pepper and hot sauce into my own bowl, but each person likes their own level of spice so I didn’t add it to the full pot.

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If you have the time on a Sunday to chop things up and wait for this to cook, it is totally worth it!

xo – j

Julie is amazing

We were in Newport last week with Jay’s family and as you can see I posted some (meh) pictures below from my phone.  Julie just posted all her pictures and they are so fantastic (she’s an amazing photographer).  I am so lucky to have her as my future sister-in-law and, regardless of Jay, one of my favorite people on earth.  Anyways, here are some of her pics that I love…

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xo-j

Starting out

So, I’ve been here a full week, and I’m loving it.  It gets a little lonely during the day while Jay is at work, but the projects are never ending so I’m always busy.  I really want to share pictures of our new house (we’re both in heaven, we live in 3x the space as our apartment!) but I want everything to be done first.

This past weekend my Mom & brother were up here for a family party, Jay and I went to a concert, and we hung out with family at the pool.  We can’t wait until the place is all done and I am working again so that we can get in the full flow of life up here.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying getting to be with Rondo all day and putting together furniture…I am the master of all tools now.

Here are just a few pictures from lately…

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(new backyard)

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(bob dylan, my morning jacket, & wilco)

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(ice cream date with the boys)

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(worst laundry assistant of all time…but we have a washer in our house…the things you appreciate after nyc)

xo-j

My boys

I know I always say we are busy, but this weekend was really crazy…and for us to say it’s crazy is something.  Friday, I ran into a friend who was moving the very next day (by chance on the subway!) and ended up getting to say goodbye to her at her apartment, went to meet Jay (who had been celebrating his last day of work!) and then stayed out way too late with friends.

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Saturday we went to Smorgasburg, a bbq with friends, and Postal Service at Barclay’s. It may sound silly, but having things that both Jay and I were loving long before we loved each other (like PS) makes me so happy!

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 Sunday I went home to celebrate my other main man, Dad!  We had a yummy brunch, family walk, relaxed in the house, and went to the fruit stand.  Dad, love you, you know this.  (see ridiculous cat pet below)

IMG_0201When I got home Sunday night, we decided to go to see a late show of Superman.  Yes, I’m tired today, but it was worth it!  Nothing like a summer superhero blockbuster!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

xo-j

what a weekend

This was a wild weekend!

Friday night was my best Bug baby’s birthday!  We even got a surprise burlesque show out of it…who knew that was coming?!

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Then after a late late night, we did our engagement pictures with Julie all day!  I can’t wait to see them all!!  Check out her amazing photography here. She did send me one and without ruining her getting to share her work here is one…

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After the long, hot, hot, hot, day of picture taking, we were off to dinner at 1 or 8 and out with friends for another late night.

Sunday, I got up and met Mom for some shopping in between Brooklyn and Flemington…little did I know we would end up finding my wedding dress!!!!!! I wish I could share pictures of it…it’s beyond perfect and I’m obsessed.  Mom (Dad too) thank you so much…so much.  I wish I could wear it everyday!

Here are some other pics from last week…

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(my mug from england and amazing tea from pukka)

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(grown men & girly drinks)

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(he has always loved this chair, but lately it is the main place i find him…weirdo).

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

xo-j

England

A little update! We’ve been in England for the past week traveling all around to London, Bristol, Bath, Lymington, and now back to London to finish the trip. There have been quite a few hiccups (popped a tire, stuck on a bus, no trains, lost reservations, and even Rose being hit by a door in the head!) regardless, we have been having a great time!

Here are a few iPhone pics I thought I’d share. Many more to come (and a video too) sometime next week!

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